Council honors paper for winning Pulitzer

Posted: June 25, 2012

Before City Council grappled Thursday with some of its toughest budget decisions in years, the members took time to conduct even graver business - honoring The Inquirer for its Pulitzer Prize-winning series on school violence.

The resolution honoring the paper was introduced a few weeks ago by Councilman Bobby Henon. At the time, we suggested to Henon he was simply "bucking for good coverage."

No, no, no, he insisted, going on about the importance of the series, the value of investigative reporting, and blah, blah, blah.

Though we remain skeptical of his motives - and we love to kid around with our elected officials - we'd like to say, "Thanks, councilman." - Troy Graham

Bar expansion not political, councilman says

Finnigan's Wake on Spring Garden Street is already the place to party if you are a Democrat or a police officer. Thanks to legislation passed Thursday by City Council, the bar and catering hall is set to become even more of a recreation destination.

The legislation, sponsored by First District Councilman Mark Squilla, will allow Finnigan's Wake to add two balconies over the Spring Garden sidewalk and create a dining patio and landscaped area on Bodine Street.

Finnigan's Wake owner Mike Driscoll is a Democratic committeeman, and the local party is building a new headquarters near the bar, but Squilla said politics had nothing to do with the bills.

The councilman said he believed the legislation would help the business expand. He also has confidence that the facility's owners will work hard to compromise with neighbors who dislike the balconies.

Matt Ruben, president of the Northern Liberties Neighbors Association, was skeptical. Neighbors already have problems with noise and rowdy behavior at Finnigan's, he said, and believe the balconies will only add to the problem.

"We're stuck in a situation where balconies have just become legal, and they never should have been," Ruben said. - Miriam Hill

Summer session: Who's to blame?

Council has added another meeting for June 28, cutting into what was supposed to be the summer recess.

The move, though necessary, was never going to be popular with Council members, especially those who had planned to be away next week.

Which is probably why Council President Darrell L. Clarke appeared somewhat dismayed Thursday when Majority Leader Curtis Jones Jr. said the motion to schedule another meeting was being introduced on Clarke's behalf.

"I don't think it was in the script as being 'on my behalf,' " he chuckled. - Troy Graham

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